PUB giant J D Wetherspoon have given their biggest indication yet that they are coming Prestatyn as they confirm they are in discussion to purchase a building which has been used by councillors and public services for more than 100 years.

Prestatyn Town councillors met for the last time on Wednesday, December 12 at their Council Chamber, Municipal offices, on 6/8 Nant Hall Road.

The Denbighshire County Council owned building, constructed in 1903, is in the process of being sold.

Town councillors were aware there would soon be no room for them after Denbighshire County Council declared the building “surplus to requirements” and would be sold

Rhyl Journal:

The building has been in the town since 1903

Denbighshire expect the sale to go ahead early 2019.

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for J D Wetherspoon, said: “We are in discussions to purchase the building but nothing has been agreed yet.

“We are very keen to open a pub in the town.”

Councillors have described their departure as an "end of an era". The building, which also contains the mayors parlour and until earlier this year the neighbourhood police team and response team and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) community nurses, contains many important artefacts.

Over the years, the building has become an attraction for visitors and groups, many who have visited the chamber and mayors parlour and have signed the visitors book which was first signed by HRH Prince Charles in 1969.

Cllr Paul Penlington said: “The council have met there for over a 100 years so the final meeting was a sad evening in many ways, particularly as several councillors didn’t attend. Several members talked about the history of the room and the fact much of the panelling and furniture should be preserved. I suggested an event should be held for members of the public to visit the chambers for the last time, it is unclear whether it will happen though as Denbighshire County Council are rapidly closing the building down in preparation for sale.

“The sale is close to completion to councillors may never see the chambers, as they are, again.

“The council agreed to write to Denbighshire to insist that historic items and furnishing are carefully removed in order that they may be preserved for use in the new chamber that will be built, next year, onto the town council offices across the road."

Cllr Anton Sampson, who is serving as mayor of Prestatyn and Meliden for the second time, said: "It really is the end of an era and makes me feel rather sad and nostalgic, but it's a huge building to maintain for the sake of one room.

"As a building it's not really cost effective for that reason. Also by today's standards it lacks proper access for people with disabilities who also have a right to witness democracy in progress. Apart from anything else Prestatyn Town Council don't own the building.

"We shall be using or preserving as much of the fittings as is practical for our new chamber."

The building has housed a variety of public services over the years including Prestatyn Fire Brigade, Leisure and Tourism Departments, Planning and various Rhuddlan Borough Council offices.

Cllr Gerry Frobisher, who has served as mayor three times, said: “The last meeting wasn’t a sombre event as such, but councillors and staff were sombre during a group photograph as that is what the picture was about - our last meeting in chambers.

“The whole building is empty and has been since the Summer. Denbighshire County Council have let Prestatyn Town Council stay until now but cannot supply any services after December 31, so as from January 1, the town council will be meeting in another venue.

“The content of the mayors parlour and all the past mayors’s pictures will be taken away and stored for now. The chamber, with its oak panelled walls, royal seals, furniture etc, will be carefully dismantled and stored for future reinstatement in the chambers’ new home.

“I am sad to leave the chamber as it is steeped in history. It has been the home of the town council since about 1913 when it moved out of what was the then old Scala building.

"I have been a town councillor since 1999. I was also attending the chambers and mayors parlour in the 1980s with community groups I was involved in and to accept community awards for my voluntary work with Meliden Youth Club. Over the years there have been husband and wife councillors, but my wife Sharon and I have been the only husband and wife who have both been mayor.”

The town council has made provisional arrangements to meet at Kings Hall, Prestatyn, on a temporary basis. Final notice from Denbighshire County Council is expected to be received in the new year.

The town council has also received planning permission to extend their existing offices at 7/9 Nant Hall Road to incorporate a multi-use room that will also accommodate council meetings.

Nigel Acott, town clerk, said: “Having taken professional advice, regrettably town council (tenant) is entering the final stage of negotiations to move from Council Chamber, Municipal Offices, 6/8 Nant Hall Road, which has been used since the creation of Prestatyn Town Council in 1974. Prior to this time the building had been home of Prestatyn Urban District Council.

"It is very sad that the municipal hub of town is to be lost as County have moved many services away from town and/or withdrawn non statutory services, for example, floral displays. The old library adjacent to Municipal Offices has closed, adjacent Ty Nant Council building leased to BCUHB, and Municipal Offices to be sold.

"On a more positive note a new chapter emerges as town and community councils continue to provide local support to community groups, assist town developments and business, and deliver a programme of local town based services."

A spokesman for Denbighshire County Council said: “We are looking to sell this building as part of our ongoing work to make savings in this difficult financial climate.

“We have been consulting with Prestatyn Town Council on this course of action for a number of months."